Latest Issue

Enigmas & puzzles

Holy petunias

By Ian Stewart   May 2009

“Father Abbot?”

“Yes, Brother Uthelfrith?”

“Tomorrow at sunrise we perform the Rite of the Holy Flowerpots, in memory of Saint Sythelthwyth the Unpronounceable.”

“That is correct, Brother.”

“I have consulted The Book of the Divine Garden. This year’s sacred bloom is the petunia and the holy colours are pink and purple. I have found the flowers and cleaned the 25 marble slabs that form the Sacred Square of Saints in the garden.”

“Well done, Brother.”

“My pardon, Father, but there are two things the book does not prescribe.”

The abbot nodded. “The number of pots to be arranged and…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect